Ford V Fordism: The Beginning of Mass production

Karel Williams, Colin Haslam, John Williams

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This article questions the stereotypes of Fordism and mass production. It does so by demonstrating that there is a contradiction between the stereotypes and the reality of Henry Ford's manufacturing practice in production of the Model T at the Highland Park factory between 1909 and 1919. Highland Park was not an inflexible factory which combined dedicated equipment, Taylorised semi-skilled workers and a standardised product. More positively, the article quantifies Ford's heroic achievement in taking two-thirds of the labour hours out of the product at the same time as he built more of each car. Ford used productive intervention to realise manufacturing flow through proto-Japanese manufacturing techniques which involved a commitment to continuous improvement.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Fordism of Ford and Modern Management
    EditorsHuw Beynon, Theo Nichols
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
    PagesChapter 6
    ISBN (Print)1858989485, 9781858989488
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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